Scary things!


Some of the scariest things on the web are virus's, scams, malware and phishing. Over the next couple of months, we are going to give you some information about these and how to avoid them..
Today we are talking scams and malware

When it comes to scams, you may think you are aware and up to date but scammers are getting smarter.

When you hear of any scam or malware, please share your knowledge with those you know and care about. Scams are increasingly sophisticated and thousands of Australians are hurt by them every year.

 

SCAMS

Australians lost a total of $83,563,599 to scams in 2016, although the real figure would be much higher as many people don't report them. That is an enormous amount of hard-earned money going straight into the pockets of illegal internet cowards.

The most prolific scams are dating and investment schemes, which contributed a combined loss of over $49 million dollars. Dating scams take advantage of people looking for romance, often leaving them broke and broken hearted. Investment schemes target those looking to get rich quickly, and can look frighteningly realistic.

Other scams that are increasing are the fake support phone calls. These scams start with someone claiming to be from Microsoft, Telstra or some other large Tech company. They will ask you to install software to remove viruses they have detected, and may get quite aggressive.


How to avoid it?

Never send money to someone you have only met online. Ever. No matter how many times "Yanissa" asks to "borrow" some money for a plane ticket, tell her you will reimburse her when she gets here (aka never).

Only ever put your money in investments licenced by the ASIC, and don't let anyone pressure you into making investment decisions. If an offer says that it is "Once in a lifetime!" or promises "HUGE RETURN$!!!", don't give them a dollar.  

You will never receive a phone call directly from Microsoft or Telstra, and definitely do not install software from untrusted callers or websites.


MALWARE  


Malware is software that is specifically designed to infect, disrupt and damage computer systems. It is vital that users know how to protect themselves from different types of malware including viruses, worms, trojans and spyware, which can potentially destroy information or steal confidential details. Malware is no longer created by savvy teenage pranksters, but designed by professional organised criminals.

 

How to defend against malware?


There are strong security programs available to help protect your computer. It is also important to use a security-conscious internet service provider. Updating your computer and internet browser ensures that you have the latest protection against malware. Be cautious when opening attachments, make sure that it is coming from a reliable source. Always make sure that you are on the legitimate website before you enter your details. The best resource you can use to protect against Malware and viruses is your common sense. If something is too good to be true, then it generally is.